Rebels on the Rise
How will the UNLV basketball program perform in the upcoming 2012-2013 season? Well, if odds rapidly changing at a Las Vegas sports book are a form of measure, which it is, than the future looks to be bright in Dave Rice’s second season as head coach.
After UNLV landed blue-chip Findlay Prep star Anthony Bennett on Saturday, a McDonald’s All-American who the spurned Oregon, Kentucky and Florida, the LVH Super Book immediately dropped the future odds on the Rebels from 60/1 to 40/1 (Bet $100 to win $4,000) to win next year’s college basketball championship.
The six-foot-eight Bennett was the top uncommitted recruit in the land still available and UNLV was finally able to keep a blue-chipper, who was playing in its backyard. In addition to Bennett, UNLV added to what might be their best recruiting class ever by getting California Player of the Year Kaitin Reinhardt, Bishop Gorman forward Demetrius Morant and Baltimore point guard Daquan Cook.
When you add in USC transfer Bryce Jones and Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch to a mix that already includes the stars from last season, Mike Moser and Anthony Marshall, it’s easy to see why some may think UNLV has a great shot to make some noise in the tournament. Or for the most part, do better than last year’s squad that won 26 games.
By the time Birch becomes eligible this December, UNLV will have a rotation of 10 quality players and should be one of the deepest teams in the nation. The Rebels got ranked as high as 11th last season, which was later revealed that they weren’t that good. But due to their new crop of talent, expect a preseason ranking and get ready for what should be the most exciting season since legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian left the program.
The current favorites to win the title next year are Indiana and Kentucky at 7/1, Louisville (10/1) and Ohio State (15/1).